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'It is up to the players to execute the plan well against Algeria', says Banyana coach Desiree Ellis

Banyana Banyana training at St Peters College. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana training at St Peters College. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Feb 18, 2022

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Johannesburg – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis believes her team has a task at hand to execute the plan well against Algeria.

The two teams face off in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) first leg qualifier at Orlando Stadium on Friday (start 3pm).

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With ambitions of qualifying for the AWCON tournament, Banyana hopes to get the job done at home before travelling to North Africa for the second leg on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: All systems go for Banyana in Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers

Banyana coach Desiree Ellis believes they have done all the preparations, and it is now up to the players to execute the plan well to get positive results against Algeria.

“Leading up to this, a lot of preparations was done to know what it is that we want to do. It’s now up to the players,” said Ellis.

The coach also expressed her thoughts on the unpredictable weather conditions which could favour the home side.

“We are used to this weather even though a group of our players come from Europe. Some of their players come from Europe as well," said Ellis.

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"Even though it’s overcast, it’s still hot and we have to take advantage of that. The fact that we are playing at home, we must make sure that we get positive results to make the second leg much easier.”

“We know that it won’t be an easy game. Algeria have shown that they are a powerful team on the African continent. They can’t be taken lightly, and we keep repeating that message over and over to the players.

ALSO READ: There is no room for error, says Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis

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“They will be up for it, and likewise we have to be up for it, and we have to be better.”

The coach also praised the condition of the pitch at Orlando Stadium where the team had their final training session.

“If there is one thing you cannot complain about it is the pitch," said Ellis. If you misplace a pass, it won’t be the pitch because it is in a perfect condition, and we look forward to playing there."

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Team sponsors Sasol wished the team well. Their senior manager Nozipho Mbatha said she was confident that they are ready to fly the South African flag with pride and produce positive results.

“We are excited about this game, knowing the kind of results that Banyana Banyana produces," said Mbatha.

"The team’s AWCON qualifier campaign has been very successful to date. We trust that all players will go into this game with the same confidence they had when they thrashed Mozambique late last year and that they will continue with their winning streak."

IOL Sport

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